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Inbox: A lot can happen between now and then

Nickel cornerback is a question mark entering next week’s NFL Draft

RB Aaron Jones

Bob from Bement, IL

So you're saying Taylor Swift could get drafted this year?

This was the first email I opened when I started writing Inbox Friday afternoon…and it was by far the best. Spoff threw that one right down the middle of the plate and you guys didn't disappoint. Good morning!

Steve from Aurora, WI

I don't know what the Packers think of Chandon Sullivan or Josh Jackson, or if Tramon Williams returns for 2020, but slot corner looks like a sneaky important need for Green Bay in this draft. Based on the talent likely available at pick 30, I've almost convinced myself that a cornerback or a very versatile safety is the most likely pick, barring a trade down. Do you see anything in the performance of Sullivan or Jackson that tells you either could be a long-term answer there? Thanks.

This is my biggest question mark going into the draft next weekend. The signing of Christian Kirksey, Ryan Wagner and Devin Funchess filled obvious holes but there isn't an apparent frontrunner for that nickel cornerback job if Williams doesn't return. Sullivan probably would have the inside track, but I would think they'd want another prospect to compete for that job with Sullivan, Jackson, etc.

Brock from Albany, NY

For great throws/catches that didn't count, how about the Randall Cobb no-catch at the beginning of the Cardinals playoff game that took him out of the game? I can't remember it entirely but I swore it was a catch that was nullified.

We had a great vantage point on that play from the Arizona press box. I've always wondered whether that game plays out differently if Cobb doesn't get hurt.

Nate from Amherst, WI

For those of us who never got to see the Lombardi teams, can you help us visualize what Willie Davis was like as a player?

At 6-3, 245 pounds, Davis was not the biggest defensive end, even in the 1960s, but his explosiveness off the edge set him apart. He was a nightmare to block, which is why Davis racked up somewhere between 100-140 sacks in his career.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi II, I just watched Bill Curry's tribute to Willie Davis. Wow and wow. God bless Willie and RIP.

Powerful, power stuff – and the message Willie conveyed to Bill goes well beyond football. He changed that man's life.

Marilyn from Wacousta, MI

The Sue from Tomah, WI, post brought tears to my eyes. I never thought of their passings that way, but it makes it a bit easier thinking the team is together. Thanks, Sue.

Sobering. I hadn't even thought about it until Spoff mentioned how only four Pro Football Hall of Famers from those Lombardi teams are still with us.

Jeff from Eveleth, MN

On Friday, it was mentioned that only four Lombardi-era Packers Hall of Famers are still with us. Can you please name them? We need to treasure those that remain, and remember those who have ridden on ahead of us. Thank you guys!!

Paul Hornung, Dave Robinson, Herb Adderley and the indomitable Jerry Kramer.

Jon from Laramie, WY

In terms of most impactful free-agent signing, doesn't Drew Brees fit right up at the top as well?

It's Brees or Reggie White, in my mind. I know some would say Peyton Manning. Yes, Manning won an MVP award but he was nothing more than a game-manager when Denver won Super Bowl 50. Brees and White were essential to rebuilding their respective franchise and capturing Lombardi trophies.

Tim from Wilmington, DE

Good morning, gentlemen. With all the talk about drafting a WR, I was wondering if the demotion of Darrius Shepherd to the practice squad turned out to be a positive for him. He certainly fits the criteria for a slot receiver. Do you think he has a legitimate shot at the position or has that ship sailed?

How soon we forget about his meteoric rise last summer, huh? That ship hasn't sailed but Shephard probably will need to remind everyone just how good he was. At this time, Shepherd remains the closest thing the Packers have to a prototypical slot receiver, so he has that going for him.

Matty from Durango, CO

A two-parter. How do 40-yard times compare now to the '60s? If Jordy Nelson was transported back to the '60s Packers, with his size and speed, would he have been stoppable?

Players are bigger, stronger and faster today than they were 60 years ago. That's thanks to year-round training centers, expansion of strength-and-conditioning staffs and the constant evolution of sports science. So yeah, a 2014 version of Nelson would've been a real problem for defenses.

JR from East Moline, IL

I could watch that "Rodgers Top 10 career moments" video all day. For the Rodgers-to-Cook vs. Dallas, I remember, even though the camera hadn't panned to the receiver yet, there was something about Rodgers' body language and the certainty with which he threw it that just made me blurt out "Got it!" to my brother as soon as the ball was released. Do you kind of wish they would have let Rodgers play the whole game when he had six TDs in the first half against Chicago?

As great as those plays are to relive, I wish we had a press-box camera with my reactions. I know for a fact the first line out of my mouth after the Cook catch in Dallas was, "You gotta be (freaking) kidding me." And yes, it would've been fun to see how many TDs Rodgers ended with vs. the Bears.

Jeff from Littlefork, MN

I re-watched the divisional game against the Cowboys. I noticed something I hadn't before. I would love the II's take. After Rodgers connects with Cook on the sideline throw, official No. 1 calls no catch and the side judge overrules him and signals completed pass. Official No. 1 runs up and gives the side judge a hearty slap on the rear. I'm not used to seeing emotion from officials. It made the officials seem human. It was as if official No. 1 was saying, "Thanks for getting this call right!" Thoughts?

Referees are people, too. And they only have each other on game day. Also, this is where I write for the 300th time that I could never be a ref.

Randy from Grapevine, TX

In your answer to Dallas' question you mention B.J. Raji as a Day 1 starter, which I totally agree with. He always came across as a great person who could be hysterical. Any good Raji stories? Does he ever come back for alumni days? His interception return was a highlight I will never forget.

I had some great interactions with Raji over the years. He always was available, for interviews or simple small talk. He stepped away from the game in 2016 and you haven't heard a peep about him. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's refreshing to be honest. I have so much respect for that man.

Wes from South Saint Paul, MN

Mike/Wes, two questions in one. When the Packers signed Taysom Hill on the practice squad they probably didn't think he would be grabbed by NO. Seeing what he has done, do you think the Packers regret that move or did they not see him as a potential starter? Also, with all the talk about Aaron Jones and his potential contract, no one is talking about Jamaal Williams. Drafting a RB on Day 3 and letting Williams walk could make money available to re-sign Jones, or is that logic faulty?

Obviously. Hill is a great player. I have no clue whether he's a starting-caliber quarterback but he's been a versatile gadget player for the Saints and a solid special-teamer. The Packers saw that potential before anyone but got caught trying to sneak him to the practice squad. It happens. As far as the running backs, I'm not sure how much one has to do with the other staying in Green Bay. The Packers have another 11 months to figure out how they'll move forward with their backfield. A lot can happen between now and then.

Thomas from La Crosse, WI

What are you most looking forward to in this draft?

It's seeing which teams roll the dice on players with high upside but coming off injuries (like Tua Tagovailoa). GMs will need to rely on their gut feeling about players now more than ever.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

I was hoping for a Prospect Primer on Jalen Hurts and my wish was granted. What round is he projected to get drafted? I hope he lingers around until the late fifth round and the Packers take him as a player to compete with Tim Boyle for the backup role.

I doubt he'll still be in on the board in the fifth. Most draft experts have Hurts going in the late-third or early-fourth round. He's the type of QB prospect I'd be interested in – a mid-rounder whose primary goal is to develop.

Peder from Muskegon, MI

Taylor and Swift, that was funny! If Jonathan Taylor was available in R1 would you be surprised if Gute grabbed him? Maybe I'm a homer but he looks like a generational talent who you get on a five-year rookie contract. How do you see it? And thanks for all you guys are doing through this mess. I could read twice as many Q&As as you post, I have the time.

I think T-Swift will be both available at No. 30 but I would be surprised if Gutekunst drafted either running back. I think it's more likely they look for another Jones or Williams in the middle-to-late rounds.

Colin from Tripoli, WI

Guys, with the draft days away who do you go with? I still want BPA but remember how SF ran over, around and through the defense. I'd love to see once and for all a monster ILB in green and gold. It's been ignored long enough.

In two mocks I've done so far, I've taken TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock both times, over Arizona State receiver Brandon Aiyuk and Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun. All three solid options at No. 30, though.

Tony from River Falls, WI

How do the NFL Draft and salary-cap systems compare to the other major sports in terms of complexity?

Every major sports league has shifted to the some type of rookie-wage scale, with the value of specific selections being slotted. As I've said in the past regarding my frustrations with Major League Baseball, I don't know how you can get fans from all 30-32 markets to invest in their regional team if you don't have a salary cap. In that regard, I think the NFL does it as well as any pro sport.

Scott from Sheboygan, WI

Insiders, thanks to the Legacy series I get the same thrill every week as I did when I was a kid at Christmas. I set aside time every Sunday morning to watch the latest installment.

Thanks to all who spent countless hours putting together this amazing tale of Packers history.

Shout out to Cliff Christl. He's a Hall of Fame sportswriter who could be resting easy right now after decades of service to the newspaper and information industries. But Cliff wants to make sure Packers history is chronicled as detailed and accurately as possible. He's the GOAT on the Packers beat.

Team photographer Evan Siegle shares some of his favorite images from the 2019 season.

Dave from Las Vegas, NV

It seems increasing likely that the NFL could be played in empty stadiums this year. How big of a financial hit would this be for the league? Would this affect some teams more than others and could the league operate like this for an entire season?

Empty stadiums would affect the bottom line of the NFL and every major sports organization, but COVID-19 is bigger than all of us. We have to take it in stages, one step at a time, and continue to work to ensure the world is safer today than it was the day before.

Mike from Exeter, PA

With the 30th selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Antoine Winfield Jr. Book it.

Booked, though the Packers appear settled at safety with Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage. Also, I'm starting to feel old with all these prospects entering the league who are sons of NFL players I played with in "Madden" as a kid.

Rollie from Baraboo, WI

Thirty years ago a HS friend and I had a good humor wager on a Canada fishing trip. We were both facial-hair challenged, therefore the Sad-(Butt) Beard Challenge was on. Wes would have crushed both of us!

You don't grow incredible peach fuzz like this overnight…it takes 30-plus years to harness this kind of facial power.

Ann from Menomonee Falls, WI

Wes, love your beard. Keep it going! Mike, time for you to start yours.


Eli from Yardley, PA

Is Wes OK? I think sheltering at home is getting to him. He complimented Rob Demovsky the other day and I couldn't sense one bit of sarcasm or joke at Rob's expense.

I gotta give Rob a little credit every now and then. It was a legitimately good story that I believe appeared in ESPN the Magazine. Now, he can go back to fighting the good fight for all those Wisconsin golfers.

Tom from Platteville, WI

In reference to the prize for the draft predictions, how about a "Spoffkiewicz" jersey with II as the number (letters) standing for Insider Inbox. Heck, I would buy one if available. Thanks for considering.

Your move, Packers Pro Shop.


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